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March 22, 2023, 07.58 PM

JAKARTA, - Indonesia will start the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan on Thursday, March 23, after an isbat (confirmation) meeting was held on Wednesday, March 22.

The meeting was attended by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the House of Representatives Commission VIII overseeing religious affairs, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), the Geospatial Information Agency, astronomy experts, and several Islamic organizations.

“We have agreed by consensus that the first day of Ramadan falls on Thursday, March 23, 2023,” said Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas in a press conference at the ministry’s building.

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Yaqut said that the crescent moon of Ramadan is sighted by several people in 124 observation points throughout Indonesia. Therefore, based on the calculation of the position of the moon, it is already above the horizon throughout Indonesia.

The ministry, as a representative of the government, has divided the meeting into three stages. The ministry’s director of Islamic Affairs and Sharia Guidance Adib said that the isbat meeting was held both offline and online.

The first stage was a seminar on the position of the crescent moon at the beginning of Ramadan based on astronomical calculations at 5:00 p.m. local time. This seminar was open to the public and presented by the ministry’s Hisab-Rukyat (astronomic calculation and visual observation) team. However, due to the small space, the number of visitors allowed was limited. Hence, the seminar was also held online.

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The second stage was the confirmation meeting, which was held at 6:15 p.m. local time. The closed-door meeting was led by Minister Yaqut.

The third stage of the meeting was the announcement of the results.

This article has been translated from Indonesian, partly with the help of an artificial intelligence tool.

(Writer: Adhyasta Dirgantara | Editor: Bagus Santosa)


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